JoAnn Falletta makes her Dublin debut at the National Concert Hall

Crash Ensemble celebrate 20 years with special performance and Nathalie Stutzmann leads the RTÉ NSO in Strauss and Mozart

“RTÉ’s orchestras have a singular place in Irish musical heritage,” said the national broadcaster’s head of orchestras, Aodán Ó Dubhghaill, who works for a company that has been shedding orchestral posts for a few years now. Photograph: Dave Meehan

When orchestras are silenced, society will feel the loss

Daria van den Bercken: celebrates the influence of dance music on the piano

Ted talk star Daria van den Bercken is in Galway and Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova plays an all-French programme in Drogheda

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten should be alarmed by recent comments by a member of the RTÉ Authority to Ivan Yates. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Is the strange approach to filling key posts in RTÉ’s orchestras a ploy to tear them down?

Michael McHale, soloist in Schumann’s Piano Concerto in conductor Michael Collins’s concert with the City of London Sinfonia

City of London Sinfonia with pianist Michael McHale and conductor Michael Collins, Quatuor Voce’s nine-stop tour and NI Opera stag(...)

Members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Are they facing a merger with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra? Photograph: Mark Stedman

Cuts in RTÉ’s pool of musician employees is fuelling speculation about a merger of its two orchestras

Elaine Agnew’s ‘Make a Wish’ is one of the chosen works in ‘Music of Our Time’ at the NCH

At last, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is presenting ‘A celebration of contemporary Irish female composers’ at the NCH

Fidelio Trio: their playing of Beethoven’s Ghost Trio had a kind of antiseptic cleanness, as if each of the three players – violinist Darragh Morgan, cellist Adi Tal and pianist Mary Dullea – were slightly cocooned from one another. Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

Its Chamber Music series is its largest yet with a welcome focus on native talent

Pianist Finghin Collins  at the launch of the New Ross piano festival on bord the ‘Dunbrody’ Famine Ship. Photograph: Mary Browne

Finghin Collins goes solo at Wexford Festival Opera

The plot of Alfano’s ‘Risurrezione’ features a man who abuses a young girl. Photograph: Clive Barda

We laugh and clap along with characters in opera whose actions would scandalise us in real life

 Risurrezione at Wexford Festival Opera. Photograph: Clive Barda

‘Medea’ misses the mark while ‘Risurrezione’ goes down a storm

Oscar Ghiglia: ‘When I play, it is as if I were teaching, in a way, and vice versa’

Italian classical guitarist Oscar Ghiglia pulls no punches when it comes to his students or his peers

Orla Boylan  stars as Eithne, daughter of the King of Tír na nÓg at the NCH.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Wexford Festival Opera begins while ‘Eithne’ is presented in a concert performance

Tine Thing Helseth plays St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin

A celebrated Swedish brass player, a master US percussionist and a Norwegian trumpeter

On Friday, the RTÉ NSO’s new principal guest conductor, Nathalie Stutzmann, showed just how significant a conductor’s intervention can be

Nathalie Stutzmann infuses the RTÉ NSO’s playing with litheness, clarity and wit on her guest debut

 Nathalie Stutzmann, the new principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra,  begins her tenure with a programme at the National Concert Hall on Friday

Classical highlights: Veronika Eberle, Tallis Scholars and RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Nathalie Stutzmann: “A skinny guy will not produce the same sound as a very fat one”

Nathalie Stutzmann, the new guest conductor of the RTÉ NSO, has found two very different ways of producing sound

IBO’s artistic director Monica Huggett suggested that people imagine their performance as ‘musical vaudeville’

The IBO’s take on Mozart’s Musical Joke trample it to the level of the Dumb and Dumber movies

The Irish Chamber Orchestra

Culture Night concerts by Chamber Choir Ireland and Irish Chamber Orchestra offers 365 Variations on a Gesture

MENDELSSOHN: VIOLIN CONCERTO; HEBRIDES OVERTURE; REFORMATION SYMPHONYIsabelle Faust (violin), Freiburger Barockorchester/Pablo Her(...)

Peter OReilly, Benjamin Russell and Christopher Cull in    Benjamin Britten’s opera ‘Owen Wingrave’. Photograph: Frances Marshall

‘Owen Wingrave’ fails to come to theatrical life

RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Elisaveta Blumina in Dublin, RTÉ Contempo Quartet on tour and Irish Baroque Orchestra

MOZART: PIANO CONCERTOS NOS 25 & 26Francesco Piemontesi (piano), Scottish CO/Andrew Manze ****Linn Records CKD 544

The Navarra Quartet, above, with cellist Guy Johnston performed in Westport House at last weekend’s Westport Chamber Music Festival

Westport Festival expands from three to six concerts

KURTÁG: COMPLETE WORKS FOR ENSEMBLE AND CHOIR *****Netherlands Radio Choir, Asko|Schönberg/Reinbert de LeeuwECM New Series 481 288(...)

 David Brophy, who conducted the SinfoNua at the National Concert Hall  last weekend

Esker Festival Orchestra and SinfoNua will be among victims of musical decline at RTÉ

Téada Trio: Matt Rafter (cello), Tim Doyle (violin) and Svetlana Rudenko (piano)

Téada Trio explore synaesthesia, David Brophy conducts SinfoNua, and a choral contrast

The six-person steering group of Sounding the Feminists is chaired by composer Karen Power

What they want is for audiences ‘to hear the voices of those who continue to be marginalised due to their sex, gender identity, se(...)

Free invitation concert with the Ulster Orchestra, conducted by one of Estonia’s leading conductors Olari Elts

The best classical concerts next week

Pianist Alfred Brendel gives the audience the unexpected pleasure of performing most of the musical examples himself

Alfred Brendel plays along to probing essay: and who was being guyed in Crash Assembly piece?

SHOSTAKOVICH: SYMPHONY NO 1 ETCOrchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/Gustavo GimenoPentatone PTC 5186 6223

Finnegan Downie Dear: The young English conductor’s lunchtime programme takes the RTÉ Concert Orchestra through three different views of the Orient.

This week’s best classical concerts

 Liam Byrne  in Talbot’s Tower, Kilkenny

Peter Whelan is at the start of a journey to uncover a neglected part of our musical legacy

Christian Blackshaw: performing Schubert’s piano sonatas at Kilkenny Arts Festival

Schubert: Dreaming the Sublime, Giulio Cesare, and Rediscovering Irish State Musick

Iestyn Davies: “Somebody sitting beside me said, ‘That sounds all right. You should do it more often.’ ” Photograph: Marco Borggreve

After Iestyn Davies’s voice broke, finding his falsetto ‘accessed something inside of me’

John Harris: arriving into a situation in which future festival themes and commissions are already in train

The experience of the festival has been like that of a child of warring parents

Sharon Carty as Amy in The Second Violinist which had its  world premiere on July 27th as part of the 40th Galway International Arts Festival. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist, with a libretto by Enda Walsh, takes the phone in opera fully into the 21st century

Veronica Dunne: Ireland’s most influential singing teacher. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Russian fare and a 90th birthday celebration for Veronica Dunne

Frank McNamara  was genial, resolute and even-handed as a task-master – and encouraging as a teacher. Photograph: Jason Clarke

The pianist shows students how to handle the pressure of improvisation

Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist, his second opera with writer and director Enda Walsh, premieres at the Galway Arts Festival

Dublin International Piano Festival, opera at the Galway Arts Festival and 37th Chamber Music Festival in Castletownshend

German organist Ansgar Wallenhorst is such a fan that he included no less than three improvisations in his recital at St Michael’s Church, Dún Laoghaire, on Sunday

Many great composers were also great improvisers, Mozart, Beethoven and Bruckner among them

Mezzo soprano Tara Erraught, with the   RTÉ NSO/Gavin Maloney, at the NCH, Dublin, on Friday

Irish mezzo soprano Tara Erraught comes to the National Concert Hall

German-Korean violinist Viviane Hagner

West Cork Chamber Music Festival director Francis Humphreys struck gold this year bringing together violinist Viviane Hagner, cell(...)

Karen Ní Bhroin, who will make her debut with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday.

Giya Kancheli miniatures get an airing while Karen Ní Bhroin makes her RTÉ NSO debut

ORA/Suzi Digby Many are the WondersHarmonia Mundi HMM 905284 4

English pianist Julius Drake: expressive vehemence

Composer Hanns Eisler wrote the `Hollywood Songbook' while in enforced exile from Germany

 Fergus Sheil speaking after picking up the best opera award at this year’s Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards, for The Barber of Seville by Wide Open Opera. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Opera Theatre Company and Wide Open Opera will merge to form new entity

Cellist Norah O’Leary from Ensemble Dagda with students from St Brendan’s NS Bantry at the launch of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Bantry, Co Cork. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Ahead of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, five string players discuss their work

Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino gives the impression of re-drawing time. Photograph: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Despite denouncing Stockhausen as a charlatan, Brian Boydell was no traditionalist. And Salvatore Sciarrino at Silenzio further ce(...)

BEL CANTO PAGANINIRachel Barton Pine (violin)Avie AV 2374 (2 CDs)4

Wide Open Opera and Landmark Productions have won the€150,000 Fedora General Prize for Opera for their production of ‘The Second Violinist’. Photograph: Hugh O’Conor

Smart money still on the Wide Open Opera/Opera Theatre Company bid to become the council’s new major opera supplier

Nathalie Stutzmann, RTÉ NSO’s principal guest conductor, conducts five concerts in the 2017-2018 season. Photograph: Simon Fowler

Orchestra celebrates 70th anniversary with a wide-ranging concert programme

When it came to concerts, the late conductor Neville Marriner put the soloist as the number one consideration, then the repertoire, then the conductor and then the orchestra

Striking the right balance between all the factors at play in a concert, and their effect on audience numbers, is an artform in it(...)

Chamber Choir Ireland

From his earliest days in a rock band to his years in music college, David Fennessy realised he would be composing music rather th(...)

Handel’s Radamisto: The music-making, with David Brophy conducting the Irish Chamber Orchestra, was strong, sturdy but also a little stiff

Russian composers shine at NCH; Tenebrae revisit Orthodox choral music

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys: has plenty of options when it comes to funding Aosdána. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Opinion: Aosdána is part of a sticking-plaster remedy that masks shortcomings in support

Crash Ensemble, who performed as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival.

Three festivals showcased electronic works that deserve to be heard by a wider audience

Film-maker George Morrison with artist Imogen Stuart, left, and film producer Lelia Doolan at the Arts Council of Ireland where he was bestowed the honour of Saoi in Aosdana by President Michael D Higgins. Morrison’s films include Mise Éire and Saoirse. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Water charges refunds would pay the total annual cost of Aosdána for more than 30 years. So why is the Arts Council attacking it

Violin virtuoso Anton Steck finds dynamic connections between the two composers

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla: the conductor appears with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on August 31st. Photograph: Lawrence K Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty

Only one woman composer features so far in the National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series for 2017-18

Rarely-heard music: Pianist Úna Hunt and friends resurrected forgotten music  under the title ‘Recollections of Ireland’

Recollections of Ireland at NCH focused on rarely-heard music composed before 1917

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys: could have drawn up a gender-equality policy that would apply to any organisation or individual receiving funding from her department. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Minister Heather Humphreys is asking cultural institutions to step up to the plate on gender

Marc-André Hamelin: the most difficult thing about piano playing is “the ability to be able to hear yourself during performance the same way the public is hearing you. And that’s a very tall order.”  Photograph: Sim Cannetty-Clarke

Pianos are unforgiving when played in duos but that did not deter Hamelin and Andsnes

Fearghal Curtis, Eamonn Mulhall and  Andrew Gavin in Opera Theatre Company’s production of  Handel’s Acis and Galatea.

‘Acis and Galatea’ has had its action propped up in a very Irish setting

Kirkos Ensemble continues to stretch musical boundaries in new concert series

 National Concert Hall honour a kind of official seal on the perception of Finghin Collins as the leading Irish musician of his generation. Photograph: Frances Marshall

NCH honours pianist by presenting him in solo recital as part of international series

Gerald Barry: His “treatment somehow intensifies, if that is imaginable, the topsy-turviness of Lewis Carroll’s imagination”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Last weekend’s New Music festival finally delivered on its celebratory promise

Wide Open Opera’s production of “The Barber of Seville”. Will Opera Theatre Company, Lyric Opera and Wexford Festival Opera also throw their hats into the ring?

Arts Council is looking for applicants to provide ‘main-scale’ opera from 2018, as Opera Ireland finally gets something of a repla(...)

USTVOLSKAYA, SILVESTROV, KANCHELI: WORKS FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRaElisaveta Blumina (piano), Stuttgart CO/Thomas Sanderling ****Gran(...)

Nikolay Khozyainov: his playing was free of grandstanding, though the glitter of the rapid-fire finale was as bright as you could have wished.

Dublin International Piano Competition winner 2012 Nikolay Khozyainov on form

Gerald Barry:  his  piece Humiliated and Insulted is inspired by a Dostoyevsky novel. Photograph: Alan Betson

Of all new music, large-scale works with words travel least freely internationally

Yuri Temirkanov with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic at the NCH: “The playing is as pliable as you could wish for”

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s studied take on Mendelssohn and Brahms

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